NYJO @ The Manor – 20th May 2012

In The Band: Bill Ashton directing Chris Eldred (piano): Conor Chaplin (bass); Rob Luft (guitar); Scott Chapman (drums); Max Mills (percussion); James Copus, Brindley Heywood-Snell, Tommy Walsh, Tom Syson, Tom Phillips (trumpets); Barry Clements (bass trombone), Pete Whitehouse*, Daniel Higham*, Ross Anderson, Callum Au, Maddie Dowdeswell (tenor trombones); Anna Drysdale (French horn); saxophones: Michael Lack & Nadim Teimoori (tenors), Lucas Dodd & Jim Gold (altos), Chris Whiter (baritone); Helen Wilson (flute). Billie Wackrill & Emma Smith were the vocalists. (*Set 2 only)

Set 1: When You’re Ready (Evan Jolly) [intro: tpt section (muted) + Tommy W (hi-notes) & Scott; solos: Nadim, James; soli: tpt section (muted)] : I Remember The X-Men (Gareth Lockrane) [feature for Helen; solo: Michael; coda: Scott] : Somethin’s Coming (Leonard Bernstein, arr. Callum Au) [solos: Callum, Nadim] : Isn’t It Spring Again? (v) (Tim Colwell) [Billie (voc); solo: Nadim] : Looking Back (v) (Derek Goom/Bill Ashton, arr. Mark Nightingale) [intro: tpt section; Billie (voc); double-time soli: sax section] : Paris Is For Lovers (v) (Bill Ashton, arr. Evan Jolly) [Bill (voc); no solos] : Almost There (Anthony Adams) [feature for Rob] : No Moon At All (v) (David A Mann/Redd Evans, arr. Dave Foster) [intro: Conor;  Emma (voc) accompanied by Rob & Chris E; solo: Nadim; coda: Chris E] : Remembrance (Paul Hart) [intro & solos: Chris E & Helen; coda: Tommy W (muted)]

Set 2: September In The Rain (Harry Warren, arr. Callum Au) [solo: Callum; soli: sax section] : Yessica (Chris Smith) [solos: Helen, Tom S, Conor] : My Romance (v) (Richard Rogers/Lorenz Hart, arr. Callum Au) [intro: Chris E then Emma (voc) with Rob; solo: James (flgl)] : Much Too Much (v) (Bill Ashton, arr. Chris Smith) [Emma (voc) with Conor then joined by Scott; solo: Pete; Emma (scat voc) with Rob] : Never The Twain (Matt Wates) [duet feature for Lucas & Jim] : Thought I’d Ask (v) (Bill Ashton, arr. Bob Dowell) [intro: Chris E; Billie (voc) with Nadim; solo: Rob] : Caravan (Duke Ellington/Juan Tizol, arr. Callum Au) [intro: Scott; theme: James (muted) & Lucas duet; solos: Lucas, Scott].

Jottings: At NYJO’s second only appearance at The Manor this year the band essayed a concert of impeccable quality, heavily featuring the composing and arranging talents of some  illustrious  alumni  –  Evan  Jolly,  Gareth  Lockrane,  Mark Nightingale, Dave Foster, Chris Smith, Bob Dowell – musicians with strong NYJO associations – Paul Hart, Tim Colwell, Matt Wates – and the standards-arranging expertise of Callum Au.

NYJO @ The Manor – 20th May 2012Vocal duties were shared between Billie (left) and Emma, the former demonstrating her nicely improving technique on Isn’t It Spring…?, with Nadim’s subtle solo, and Looking Back, with it’s meaty double-time sax soli, whilst Emma swung mightily on No Moon…, My Romance and Much Too Much, the newly-coiffed Rob providing some sensitive guitar accompaniment on all three.

Other highlights included: Helen’s flute solos on I Remember… and Chris Smith’s rarely-heard Quincy Jones tribute Yessica, along with her stunning playing on her showcase, Paul Hart’s elegiac Remembrance, with Chris E’s sterling support; James’s trumpet turns on When… and, muted, on Caravan, along with his lovely flugel solo on My Romance; Pete’s trombone contribution to Much Too Much, which Bill opined was the best solo he’d heard Pete play; and Lucas’s and Jim’s finger-busting duet on Matt Wates’ classic two-hander Never The Twain.

Review: Steve Harris/Ian Fielding : Photo: Bill Ashton